Two years since Ulcinj Salina was declared a Nature Park

Happy anniversary to Ulcinj Salina! Ulcinj Salina is home to more than 250 species of birds and is a perfect place for feeding, resting and nesting. In order to protect the rich flora and fauna and to preserve the traditional image of this area on June 24, 2019, two years ago, it was declared a Nature Park.

<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                Mural for attention of Ulcinj Salina</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

A mural in the centre of Ulcinj is meant to draw attention to the endangerment of the Salina.

© CZIP
<p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>                Flamingos in Ulcinj Salina</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p>

Greater flamingos are one of the target species for the protection of Ulcinj Salina.

© Mihailo Jovicević / CZIP

The formal-legal proclamation was the first step to ensure adequate protection and a great future for this former salt factory and significant ecosystem. As a gratitude to the citizens of Ulcinj for all the support they provided in previous years in the fight for its preservation and protection, the team around the “SaveSalina” Campaign (e.g. EuroNatur and partners CZIP and MSJA) gave a gift to them - a mural of flamingos, symbols of the saltworks and the city. The diligent hands of artist Argon Ujkashi skillfully outlined the conceptual design that won last year’s competition and painted it onto a building´s wall in the town of Ulcinj.

As an exceptional wetland ecosystem, Ulcinj Salina has furthermore been designated a Ramsar Site of Wetlands of International Importance. But despite all the titles that Ulcinj Salina carries, two years after being declared a protected area we still face decay and no implemented protection measures since it was privatized in 2005 and last salt harvest took place in 2013.

Unfortunately, despite clear signs that the ecosystem is rapidly deteriorating, proper management has not yet been established and the necessary protection measures have not been taken. Ulcinj Salina as a semi-natural ecosystem can survive and retain the epithet "bird's paradise" only if the necessary activities are carried out.

The main problem that slows down key processes is the unresolved ownership issue. It is still unclear who owns the Ulcinj Salina area, although this seems like a simple task for the Montenegrin government. The reality is that ownership is still an unanswered question and we are still waiting for their answer.

Giving appropriate protection status to Ulcinj Salina and efficient implementation of necessary conservation measures leading to the improvement of its conservation status is one of the conditions of the European Union to Montenegro in order to close Chapter 27.

For birds and people, we once again urge the Government of Montenegro to take action and seriously start solving problems. The mural in Ulcinj will be there as thank you to the people of Ulcinj but also as reminder to the Montenegrin government to get active to ensure the safeguard of Ulcinj Salina

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